Many years ago, I was required to have a security clearance. As it later turned out, a much higher one than I actually needed, but at the time, the “guidelines” said that if I had a certain rank and was assigned to a certain post, I had to have it. So I sat down, and filled out a lot of paperwork. A complete life history, detailing where I’d lived during my life up to that point, what schools I’d attended, and a lot of other questions. I sent off transcript requests to my colleges, to have them send in transcripts to the agency in charge of the clearance. Then there were credit checks, criminal record checks, and the interviews which were … intensive. After that, came the reports from my family as various people called them to ask if I was “in trouble,” because they’d just been questioned about me by the FBI or by military investigators.
Category Archives: Business
One of the constant statements you’ll hear from conservatives is how “regulations are stifling business and the economy.” Obviously, if only we could do away with them, it would lead to a major economic boom! It’s a line that draws sympathetic responses, because most of us have our own experiences with various regulations. I know I do in my work. A good part of my job is filling out various reporting forms required by various state and federal agencies. I’m also required to follow quite a number of regulations, and I receive annual – or more – inspections from them, to insure that I’m doing it.
Today I had the dubious experience of watching a complete and utter failure on the part of a news network. CNN decided to run breathlessly onto the air with its “scoop” that an arrest had been made in the Boston Marathon bombings. News anchor John King was insisting that his “unnamed sources” in a police department were confirming it, Associated Press was running with it, and a description was made of the suspect. Then came the reality. There was no arrest, the description made was wrong, and hoots of derision followed.
I just did a quick check of the news, and there’s been another shooting incident. This one is particularly horrific, it was in an elementary school in Connecticut. There’s still a lot of things to clear up, but I’m getting sick and tired of hearing of these. What makes it worse is that I know, within a few days, that Wayne LaPierre is going to issue a statement out of NRA headquarters that will be just as stupid as his other ones. Update: 20 children dead, 6 adults, and the shooter. Other updates at the end of the post.
Back in the late ’60′s, I attended school in a small town in central New York. Meandering through the village was a small stream, with houses alongside, and also along the school buildings. It then emptied into a larger stream at the edge of town. While I have my share of fond memories of that time, two memories are not fond at all. The first was that during warm or hot days, you did not want to open a window on the stream side of the school, or go outdoors. The second is the fairly regular epidemics of hepatitis that the town went through. They both had the same cause: The stream was also the village sewer.